sf mayor asked about how to engage people in state govt…”people are fed up”
Singer: It seems, and you hit on something, that almost regardless of the specific results on the measures, the overall message seems to be one of tuning out, which is interesting considering the very high turnout we saw in November to see such disengagement and unhappiness with the process. How does the next Governor, or how do you get Californians excited about government and thinking that change can come?
Newsom: The people aren’t looking for inspiration in Sacramento, just like they didn’t find inspiration coming out of Washington, DC. I think it’s a very parallel time an experience, in terms of people’s consciousness. People are fed up. They’re sick and tired of these broken promises of politicians of both political parties, the finger-pointing, the abdication of responsibility, the lack of leadership, the lack of bold new ideas. They don’t like these games that are being played. They don’t like late night budget negotiations literally in the dead of night. They don’t like smoke and mirrors. They don’t like deals being that are being cut to get a vote here or there. And I think what President Obama as a candidate inspired was a nation of similar consciousness to say enough of Washington, DC and these games that were being played in Washington.
I think it’s very analogous here, fast-forward a year later, in the midst of a gubernatorial election where people are now more acutely than every fed up with those games in their own state, not just in Washington. And what they’re looking for is the same kind bold leadership, a willingness not just to identify problems but to solve them regardless of their differences and someone that’s willing to take risks. And I think people that are going to argue to play on the margin are not going to succeed, and not just to campaign but succeed in terms of their ability to govern this state. I think we have to be bold, we have to be extraordinarily ambitious, we’ve gotta be willing to take political risk. I think people are looking for authenticity. People are looking for people who call balls and strikes. They’re less ideological. They’re much more pragmatic. I do think the opportunity to capture generational perspective in terms of that appetite exists. But that’s not just a time of life it’s a state of mind. It’s not just young people, it’s people of all ages that are fed up and that are looking for something fundamentally different.
But the caveat is that unless we have the structural changes, I don’t care who your personality is, it’s going to be very difficult to navigate out of this. So that’s the big difference between Washington, DC and Sacramento. We’re going to have to, as well, at the same time address the structural questions, not just promote a different personality as Governor.
FULL INTERVIEW + AUDIO HERE